Friday, August 22, 2008

Living Word

He isn't listening.
In fact he is asleep.
The light is on, I stir him. He does not move.
His breathing is heavy. Did I hear him snore? He is not engaged
in the powerful words that I am breathing over him. He doesn't care.
He doesn't want to know. He wants to remain in his sleepy state of mind. 
I beckon to him by beginning to read:

"Blessed, happy, fortunate, [to be envied] are the undefiled......the upright, truly sincere and the way [of the revealed will of God]; who walk.......that is, order their conduct and [the whole of God's revealed will] the law of the Lord." (vs. 1)

This is you, Josiah. This word is speaking of you will walk in the truth of this verse.

"Blessed, happy, fortunate [to be envied] are they who keep His testimonies, and who
seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart." (vs. 2)

May you crave Him, my son, let your whole heart be drawn to Him.

The Word, prayer, love penetrate his slumber. He stirs. 

He will be going to public school today. He is a Junior. This is an opportunity. Time threatens brevity. 

"Yes, they do no willful wandering from His precepts; they walk in His ways." (vs. 3)

I read and pray the first eleven verses of Psalm 119 over my son.

The Word is living, active, sharper than a  two-edged sword. I trust it to pierce the
subconscious mind of my child. It is hovering over him now. I believe it is settling in his heart.

I know he needs more than this, but I begin here for now. I believe the truth of these words
will empower him for every encounter he meets today.

When he walks into the classroom, may there be a sense that this is a blessed young man.

I can't be there with him. I trust that the Word that I am planting in him will be a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path.

I will begin at verse 12 Monday morning before school. Tears often fall as I feel the Lord hovering over this precious time. 

Josiah is not listening, not at the moment.  As I speak this truth over him may it awaken the listening ear of his heart so that someday he will have a clear understanding of the holiness of this moment. 

A time will come when his child will be sleeping. Craving sleep. Breathing heavily with slumber. Resting, unaware that his Daddy is reading, praying, believing, and loving him with tears.

I leave his room expecting answers to prayer.


By Faith~
*Verses taken from the Amplified Version of the Bible.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Landlord

There is a young woman in my life who I have had the privilege of mentoring. She lives in New Jersey now. She is a nanny there. 
Recently she moved out of the home of the family that she is working for and moved into an apartment of her own.
She texted me the other day and said that her apartment had been broken into. Her new tv and her mail was all that was gone. She texted me the next day and her neighbors apartment had been broken into. There was evidence that the landlord was the thief. 
I was encouraging her in the beginning to get some deadbolts on her door. After the last report, she was ready to move.
John 10:10 again....."The thief comes but to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly." 
Sometimes we allow the thief to be the landlord of our heart. We can expect him to do his job and wreck havoc with the dwelling place of our heart. However if the Lord is our LandLord He will provide us with an abundance of peace, joy, love, kindness, goodness, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness, and patience in abundance.
If Jesus is the LandLord of our heart, He will help us to protect the heart and keep the enemy away. 
My husband was coming in the back door of our house the other day and let out a big scream. He never, ever does that so I was really shook up. He began to do a little dance. There was a tarantula that had slipped in the door when he opened it. He didn't reach down to pick up that huge black beast, he was shoving it right back out the door with his feet. 
My husband is the landlord of our home. He lives here with me. He wasn't going to let that beast come in and take anything from us. 
The Lord Jesus is so good at protecting the door of our home. He can spot the enemy and give him a boost right back out the door. I guess I could have said, "Honey, please let that sweet spider live with us! He won't hurt anything."
We do that sometimes with the enemy. We invite him into our lives and then expect him to behave. 
We must remember the enemy will always have the nature of a thief.
He will always steal. 
He will always try to kill and destroy.
The Lord will always bless our abode with an abundance of all that He is made of. The Lord does not share any of the attributes of the enemy. He is not in our lives to take from us. The Lord is a giver, not a taker. 
He wants us to have life in abundance.
He will build us up and restore our souls.
I am keeping my LandLord. He is the best! How about you?


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Things that Really Matter

Back to the room that I am redecorating for guests. It is looking really beautiful! I have had so much fun picking up just the right things to make it look like a haven of rest for whomever might come to visit our home. 

I found a little vanity at an antique shop that is so quaint and elegant. When I saw it I could visualize my daughter sitting at that vanity, putting on her eye shadow, combing her hair, and sipping her tea. I was sure that it was  meant to be in that room. 

The vanity was a really good price but the chair that went with it was too much. The dealer and I tried putting many different chairs with it but nothing else looked like it belonged. So I bit my lip and purchased the overpriced wobbly chair. (That I am hoping my Mr. Fix-it husband can strengthen.)

Our youngest son, Josiah, went with me to pick up the vanity and chair. He put it in the back of the truck, strapped it in as tight as he could get it. I wasn't quite sure that we had it secure enough so I asked the man at the store if he thought it was okay. He assured us that it would be fine if we took the back roads home and went slow. I still wasn't sure, but I took his word and off we went.

About half-way home we heard a crash. The dresser had fallen and great was it's fall. My son pulled over and glass was all over the bed of the truck where the mirrors had broken. It was a disaster. Humpty-Dumpty couldn't be put back together again!

Thoughts came to me. I was thinking that Josiah would always remember this moment. He was going to tell his children how I reacted to this disaster. So, calmly I told him that I thought we should leave it lie as it was and finish our drive home. Then I really didn't say anything. I didn't know what to say so I thought it best to be still. Josiah remained quiet as well. It seemed like a very long drive. It was probably five or six miles.

We arrived home to my husband. He was not too happy with my purchase (not a fan of antiques) and he was really disappointed that we had damaged the vanity. Josiah left the room to clean the glass out of the truck bed. I very gently said to Scotty "Josiah is more important than the vanity". He silently agreed. We kept it peaceful. 

I am going to have new mirrors cut to put in the vanity. I touched up the scratches and dings and you know it doesn't look too bad. I still love it. 
There were old newspapers from 1927 behind the mirrors. They were fabulous! There were beautiful ads for women's shoes priced at $2.68 or if you wanted some very stylish "Emma Jettick" shoes you must pay $5.85. Men's dress shirts were advertised at $1.55. What fun it was to read through those old writings. In fact I am going to frame some of the clippings for my new room.

Our ride home from the antique store is one that we will always remember. I really wanted to cry when the vanity crashed but I am confident that in time this will be a time that we reflect on with laughter. Even my husband will laugh..........down the road a bit. 

The vanity is just that........vanity! My son, on the other hand, he is a treasured possession.

So let me know when you would like to come for a visit and I'll put the tea kettle on. Oh, and that chair, it is still pretty wobbly so be careful when you sit at the vanity.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Right Response

Years ago I heard a story that has impacted my life for eternity. I don't know if it is true or a modern day parable, but it has been powerful to me.

There was a city that was divided by a great wall. People on one side of the wall hated those who lived on the opposite side of the wall. Great was their hatred. They decided to do something about it. During the night they heaped all the trash that they could find from their side of the city and threw it over the wall leaving a heaping mound of garbage for their neighbors to wake up to.

Morning came. The recipients of the garbage held a meeting. They came up with a plan to respond. That night they threw beautiful things over the wall. Flowers and anything that they could find with beauty in it they heaped over the wall.  Above the pile of beautiful things they left a note hanging that read "Each man gives what he has." 

The great Christian pianist, Dino, shared this story at the end of his television show years and years ago. I have never forgotten it. This story has challenged me to give like those who shared the beautiful things. It is easy to respond to trash with trash. I have responded with trash  too many times. Sometimes I don't even realize I have discarded my trash on someone else until after the fact. Sometimes it has been intentional. I just wanted to. : ( 

Actions speak loud! My son Luke posted a quote on his blog that is one of my favorites:
"Preach the gospel always, if necessary use words." St Francis of Assisi.

I hope to leave behind me a legacy of  "goodness and mercy"........with as small of a trash trail as possible.

Lord, please grace me today with beautiful things to leave behind. Things that will point others to You! Amen.

ps. Okay, SG this one is to bless YOU!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Vintage Flair pt. 2

Ashli entered the stage of the darkened room. We waited on the third row for her performance. It was the talent competition. She would be performing at the judges nod.

The judge looked her way and she introduced her song. "The Old Rugged Cross" was her selection. 

Ashli chose to do this song a cappella. The words began to resonate through the room. I looked around and many were in tears. Even the men in the audience had tears streaming down their faces by the end of that song. It was beautiful. Her pitch was perfect. Her grace and poise was distinct. 

The most defining element of her performance was the anointing that settled upon the song, upon Ashli, and upon the audience. The words were penetrating hearts and the message was being received. 

Ashli was not performing, she was ministering. For the most part the crowd was worldly. Her hearers were not typically from the church circle. She was delivering the gospel to them in such a beautiful way. The best of preachers would have envied the power of it. 

Our family did not attend a traditional church at that time. Hymns were rarely sung at our services. I do not know how she became aware of this hymn that was so fitting for such a contest. 

Here are the words that she sang that day:

The Old Rugged Cross by George Bennard 1873-1958

1.On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, 
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross, 
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it someday for a crown.

2. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
for the dear lamb of God left His glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary.

3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
for twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.

4. To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
it's shame and reproach gladly bear;
then He'll call me someday to my home far away,
where His glory forever I 'll share.

By the last refrain, the judges had stopped their writing and their eyes were fixed on her face. 
A subtle hush settled upon the whole audience as these final words penetrated the toughest facade:

"So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it someday for a crown."

The song was over, but everyone remained silent. The gospel was shared. Her mission was complete. Tears were completely blinding my eyes.

I didn't understand until that moment what the purpose of Ashli's participation in this type of contest was. She kept telling me that she felt the Lord had prompted her to sign up for it. She had never really shown interest in such an endeavor before. I was mystified and a bit miffed by it all in the beginning. 

My second lesson from her obedience was that the Lord wants us to enter into places that we may not want to go and present a message that they might not want to hear. We can present it in such a way that it can be received. 

There were some in that audience that were stirred by the ministry of that song, but they were not changed. Perhaps someone sitting among us had a heart change because of Ashli's obedience.

I can tell you that one person was forever changed. Me. My daughter demonstrated something to me that day that I will never forget. She was in a contest for an earthly crown, but was actually seeking a higher crown. She didn't expect to win the title of Miss Kansas Teen that day.

She placed second in the talent competition. She did not win the pageant. Her reward is not here and now. It will come at a later time when she hears her Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest."

Ashli demonstrated such boldness to me that weekend. She had a boldness to stand alone with her wardrobe selections. Her confidence in the gospel and her willingness to share it in such a high pressured arena was astounding! I wish you could have been there. Words fail to describe it. I know that you would join me in saying it was a moment in time that will remain in my heart forever.

Blessings, dear friends,


Friday, August 8, 2008

Vintage Flair

My daughter, Ashli, has quite the taste for Vintage, especially in clothing. This passion began in her high school years. We used to frequent flea markets and antique shops by the dozens to try on vintage apparel. We didn't always buy, but we giggled a lot as she would try on the different garments. Hats, purses, shoes, dresses, pant suits,  anything that was the least bit classy hit her fancy!

It was so much fun. Some of my favorite memories of her days at home are from those times when we set out on a great explore. 

She entered a Miss Teen contest in our state when she was near the end of her high school days. There were many different outfits required for this event. Of course every outfit she chose was of vintage style. Out of all the girls in that contest, she was the only one that had made such a choice. 

Some of the other contestants admired her choice, others did not appreciate it. I am sure that some were a bit threatened by it. It really didn't matter to Ashli what the other girls thought of her. She loved vintage and she was bound and determined to wear it. 

When she first entered this contest I just wasn't sure about it. I thought it was a bit of a worldly thing to be in such a pageant. Honestly, I didn't like the idea. Not at all. Little did I know that I was going to learn so much from this experience. 

Oh, the things my children have taught me! Oh, the ways the Lord has used them to humble me!

The first lesson I learned from this experience was about having  the boldness to stand for what you believe in. I knew about this but Ashli demonstrated it to me in such a beautiful way. She stood out from all of the other girls. The vintage that she chose was beautiful on her. She was striking and graceful. 

I couldn't help but see the truth of being set apart. We are in this world, but we should appear different. In a world of darkness, we should be light. There should be something really different about us. Our robes of righteousness will not blend in with garments of unrighteousness and worldliness. 

I wish you could have seen my girl that day. I was so proud of her! She was the most beautiful girl in the pageant. (I know what you are thinking........I am her mom!) It wasn't just her outer grace and beauty that made the biggest impression on me though. I was moved by the fact that she was not moved by the opinion of her peers. She stood for what she believed in regardless of their response to her. That was an inner beauty in her that spoke loud to me. It was a strength that I longed for.  Her boldness inspired me to be bolder in my choices. 

Ashli never tried to force others to make the same choice or even convince others that  her choices were right. She just walked in her choices with confidence, knowing that they were right for her. She made quite an impression on all of us. Her witness spoke volumes. 

I will finish the rest of this story tomorrow. Please come back! You will love part two of this story.


Monday, August 4, 2008


Another child has left our nest! Actually he left a year ago, but I am just now coming to grips with this information. 

Luke left for college last August. He is going to school just eighty miles from our house but sometimes it seems like a thousand. We don't see him very often. He has such an amazing life at school. 

Did I tell you what a great kid he is? I must boast! He is on the Deans List because he is a great student. He works hard at getting really good grades and he is very smart. He got involved with campus ministries and is constantly involved in some sort of outreach project. He believes in Jesus and wants it to be obvious in his life. His dad and I couldn't be more pleased with the choices he has made. 

I have been so happy about his life that it has really helped to ease the pain of letting him go. Until this weekend when we began to clean out his room. My husband worked very hard on most of it because he knew that Luke and I would not handle it as well. 

This morning I cleaned out a dresser and found a fitted sheet with horsies on it. I still have a lump in my throat. It is not going to the thrift store. I must hold onto it for someone that might come along at a later time to join our know, like a grandson!!!! 

The reason we are cleaning out the room is because it had bunk beds in it. We had to buy a king sized bed for my son-in-law because he is one macho man and needed a bigger one to sleep in while he is visiting us. So I am turning that room into a beautiful guest room. It is under construction right now and soon you will not be able to tell that it was a little boys room. 

I can still hear the giggles that would come from that room. We used to call Luke and Caleb "Chip and Dale". You should have heard them! They had the best time together!!!! And we had the best time raising them.........most of the time!!!!

My little Luke has grown into quite a young man. I miss all of his little boy ways.  I am so thankful that the Lord chose us to raise him. He has brought this family much joy. It would never be the same without him. 

So I am hoping that he will come to visit a lot! This will always be a place he can call home. We are always thrilled to see him walk through the door. Quite often he brings a new friend or two along which is always a blessing. 

Well, I must get back to work. The painter comes Wednesday. 

Thanks for letting me be sentimental.  I am not going to say I am having a crisis.........rather a transition. Transition is a challenge. Life moves on and we must move with it. So Forward  Ho! Here We Go!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Seeking Him

Greetings, friends!

I have just got home from a Beth Moore simulcast........and oh I was sooooo blessed! The Lord revived my heart with some new things from His to me that is!

Just wanted to share the second verse that I was talking about yesterday. 
The verse is Matthew 6:33.

Whenever those numbers pop up into our daily living space, I always have a question for my family. 

Sometimes I will see those numbers on a digital clock and I do not say anything out loud, but my heart speaks to me...........very loud!

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." 

My heart convicts me those times when I haven't quite gotten my priorities lined up for the day.  When that happens I  often  see the numbers 6:33..........and I think eeeeeew! I think maybe I need to set aside some time for seeking!

Whenever I finally get to my seeking.........He is there! Waiting! Faithful!

Promising Matthew 6:33!  To me!


Friday, August 1, 2008

When He Comes

There are two verses of scripture that I am confident my children have in their hearts. I am not sure why I chose those particular ones other than I think it was simply the Lord's great idea. 

Whenever the numbers 10:10 would pop up anywhere; the total amount of a purchase, the digital numbers on a clock, or perhaps a tied score on a scoreboard, etc. Whenever those numbers would appear I would say, "John 10:10, what does that say?" One, or two, or all of my kids would say, "The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly."

One day my husband said to me, " I don't like that verse, because of the the thief part."

My reply was that I wanted the kids to know that there is a thief, but they have a Lord who promises them life. Not just any life, but a more abundant life! 

The thief loves to get his grimy paws on our abundant He desires to steal, kill, and destroy everything that the Lord has given to us. We must be aware of his schemes and know that he is out there. 

There is a very small community near us who has had some vandalizing to some small businesses recently. This week they did damage to the post office even setting fire to it. Whew! They are in big trouble now. The law enforcement in that community is small and not very powerful.

Now there is a bigger issue. Now they are calling out the big dogs. The federal government will be involved because the post office is a government office. Most likely, they will find the ones causing the crimes and they will receive their just due.

The enemy often tries to steal, kill, and destroy that life that is in us because we believe in the Lord. The problem is when we let him.  What if the ones who run the post office just let the criminals in and said, "have at it!" ? 

Or those owning the small businesses just open the doors to the enemy and say, "Here, take what ever you like. Destroy everything if you want!"

I am afraid that I have done that to the enemy at times in my life. I have allowed the enemy to come into my life and cause destruction. I let him steal and kill my joy. Peace. Life!

There is such an abundance in the life the Lord has promised us. He wants us to walk in that abundance. 

We often think of abundance in a financial way. I think He loves to bless finances. But I believe there is a richness to life that is way beyond the financial realm. It is all the things that money can't buy! That is abundant living. 

I am just wondering if you have cracked the door for the enemy. I have learned the hard way that if you give him enough space to get his big toe in the door you had better look out. He will never be satisfied with that small of an entrance.

My husband started to say, "10:10" when he would spot it somewhere (and still does). Each one of my children would love to be the first ones to spot it and point it out to the rest of the family.

Have you seen 10:10 posted anywhere lately?  Remember the thief with his desires to do destruction to your life and WHEN HE COMES don't let him in!  And always remember the Lord who IS your Life!

I hope to share the second verse tomorrow.

ps. Melissa Taylor from Proverbs 31 Ministries wrote about this verse yesterday. It is very good. Please check it out on the Proverbs 31 site or on  Melissa Taylor's Blog.